2020 CVMA Workforce Study

The primary mandate for this research is to examine the equilibrium between supply/capacity and demand for veterinary services across the Canadian companion animal, food animal, and equine sectors now and into the future.

The results presented are a result of 2 main phases of our research process. The 1st phase was a review of primary and secondary research sources. The 2nd stage was a survey of Canadian veterinarians. A workshop took place between the phases to ensure accuracy and representation of the body of literature. An additional purpose of the workshop was to fine-tune the survey based on the findings of the literature and secondary data review.

There were 2 main phases in our research review. The 1st was a review of the AVMA Workforce Study and Impact of Financial Crisis/Great Recession on Veterinary Medicine. This paper helped identify the factors that impacted the demand for veterinary services between 2008 and 2013 in the United States. These lessons served as a starting point for our survey. The 2nd step of the review targeted understanding of Canadian trends related to supply and demand. In this 2nd phase, we collected economic data about growth in the Canadian population, household growth rate, disposable income, the cost of veterinary services and pet populations in Canada. Further information in this step came from reviewing CVMA graduate surveys and conducting in-depth interviews with representatives from each province to gain a better understanding of local factors that influence trends.

The survey served multiple purposes but predominantly provided information on veterinarians’ thoughts about their current working capacity and future working conditions. The survey also helped confirm anecdotal findings from the previous research phase. Approximately 12 500 veterinarians from the CVMA database received an e-mail invitation to participate in the survey. Of these veterinarians contacted, 1019 currently employed veterinarians responded to the survey (A response rate of 8.2%). The survey was open between February 21st and March 16th, which is before the social distancing and travel restrictions implemented in any Canadian province. The statistical margin of error at the 95% confidence level was 1/2 2.94%.